Silence is not always Golden

Silence is not always golden; sometimes it’s just plain yellow! That’s a little twist on an old adage. In fact, it’s sometimes difficult to know when to speak up and when to zip up.

The Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthian believers in 2 Corinthians 7:8-12, and says, I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while. 9 Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. 10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.

From these verses it’s clear that Paul was aware he had spoken frankly about actions that were not God honoring. He is referring to his first letter, chapter 5, where there were sinful things taking place. He didn’t pull any punches but spoke the truth in love. The end result was spiritual repentance and restoration. That’s a good thing. Had he beat around the bush or tried to be a “nice guy” they might well have continued down the same path and nothing would have changed. As it was, the truth was spoken, and possibly, it was a difficult pill to swallow. Yet, it ended well. This helps us think about the issue of when to speak up and when to keep something to ourselves. I believe Paul’s words show that when something is just a matter of a personal opinion or a personal preference, it’s best to keep it to yourself. But if something is diametrically opposed to the truth of scripture, and has eternally significant implications to it(could cause a person to miss Heaven because of their actions) then it’s vital to speak up. Obviously, speaking up requires doing so in love, but nonetheless, speak up. It’s like the analogy of a person driving 55 mph toward a road block that is guarding a bridge that is out. Beyond the road block the road plummets to a gorge, hundreds of feet deep. If you are aware of the bridge being out and you see a friend driving directly toward it and you say nothing, then you’re really not a friend. You’d speak up, scream, wave your arms, and do everything in your power to get their attention. That’s what were talking about. Speak up when it’s eternally significant. Zip up when it’s just a matter of your personal opinion. Remember! Sometimes silence is golden. Sometimes it’s just plain yellow. May you have the wisdom to know the difference.